What’s Your Brand’s Personality?
I was recently reminiscing about my days in the Music Row song publishing world and thinking about one particular publisher. For the life of me, I could not recall the company’s name (it’s been a while), but they had a powerful roster of writers cranking out the country hits. What I do recall was the great vibe, the personality of the place. Over and above the actual business name, it was the company’s personality that really stuck with me. I believe that’s true for just about every successful business out there.
Whenever we work with clients on any aspect of their brand, we ask them to imagine their brand as a living, breathing person. How would that person speak, dress, interact, and carry him or herself? For most people, that authentic, you-being-you attitude can provide their biggest competitive advantage and most effective differentiator.
“Brand personality is the part of your brand that your customers identify with and build a relationship with,” says Brian Lischer, founder and CEO at San Diego branding agency Ignyte. “Personality is why Starbucks customers feel so at home in its cafes, and why BMW customers can’t picture themselves driving anything else.”
I’ve actually read articles that recommend adjusting your personality to fit the audience you’re trying to reach. I couldn’t disagree more strongly. If you find yourself having to veer from your genuine self to get your message across, you’ve probably got your ladder leaned up against the wrong tree. Also, that kind of disingenuous approach isn’t sustainable over the long term. Sooner or later, probably sooner, that ill-fitting suit will start to chafe.
Marketing is more than just reaching customers. It’s all about reaching the right customers. People really do buy from people they like, and in today’s online world, it’s no longer possible to pull the wool over the customer’s eyes. The best thing to be in today’s competitive environment is fully, boldly yourself. A fully developed and well communicated brand personality ups your credibility, defines your brand’s attitude in the marketplace, and serves as a cornerstone to your successful marketing.
There’s nobody like you. Nobody. If you’re trying to differentiate your business, your authentic brand personality is the place to start.